OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant's run as scoring champ likely over

Unless the Thunder star goes for 70 points in the season finale, he'll finish second to Carmelo Anthony in the NBA scoring race.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 16, 2013

UPDATE -- 10 a.m., Wednesday: Kevin Durant announced Wednesday via Instagram that he would not play in the Thunder's season-finale vs. the Milwauke. New York's Carmelo Anthony will win the 2012-13 NBA scoring title.

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Kevin Durant's reign as the NBA's best scorer will come to an end Wednesday night.

Unless, of course, the Thunder forward finds a way to post 70 points in his team's regular-season finale against the Milwaukee Bucks.

That's how many points Durant would need to score to surpass New York forward Carmelo Anthony, assuming Anthony doesn't play in the Knicks' final game against Atlanta.

“He has no shot,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said, half-jokingly, of Durant. “I guarantee you he won't get it.”

Brooks, though, would know. He's the man controlling the distribution of minutes, and he said Durant and the rest of the team's regulars “are going to play very limited minutes” in the season finale.

It will bring an end to a three-year run Durant has enjoyed as the league's scoring champion. Had he secured a fourth consecutive scoring crown, Durant would have joined Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in NBA history to lead the league in scoring four straight seasons.

“I give Kevin a lot of credit,” Brooks said, “because maybe 10 games ago, if he was really focused on trying to get it four years in a row, he could have got it easily.”

Durant enters the final night of the regular season averaging 28.1 points. Anthony is averaging 28.7. But Durant has appeared in every game this season, while Anthony has missed 14 games. On total points, Durant leads Anthony 2,280 to 1,920.

Then there is the matter of efficiency.

Anthony has attempted 22.2 shots per game, 0.2 off of his career high, and an eye-popping 26.5 in his eight April games. Durant, meanwhile, has averaged only 17.7 shots this season, his fewest attempts since his rookie year, and hoisted just 15.9 in his seven April contests.


by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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